Archive for the ‘spring’ Tag

Zang Toi

        zang_toi.jpg        240px-zang_toi_fashion_designer_malaysia.jpg

(in answer.com)

Born: Malaysia, 11 June 1961.  

Education: Studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, New York, 1981-83.  

Career: Production associate, Mary Jane Marcasiano, New York, 1982-87; freelance designer, Ronaldus Shamask, New York, 1988; opened own business, 1989, introduced diffusion line Z, 1992.  

Exhibitions: Fashion Institute of Technology Museum.  Awards: Mouton-Cadet Young Designer award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, 1990.  

Address: 30 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA. 

Zang Toi has the dubious distinction of being a featured designer in a Newsday article of October 1990, “Fashion’s New Kids: On the Block,” and of being a principal in Nina Darnton’s article “The New York Brat Pack,” in the April 1991 issue of Newsweek. In the Newsweek article, Zang Toi had the last word, telling Darnton, “I think women are looking for good prices and styles that are new—not just young people in the same mold as the current stars.” Likewise, in the Newsday article, Toi’s pragmatic and sensible remarks form the article’s conclusion when he says, “There are so many young designers who are eager to be stars right away. But ego can be the worst killer to any young designer. You can’t let the press and the hype go to your head. If the work doesn’t meet the demand and the quality, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Toi’s work resoundingly meets demand and determined desires and styles in the early 1990s. The gifted young designer has demonstrated a color sensibility related not only to Asian textiles (the collection that earned him the Mouton-Cadet Young Designer award was inspired by Southeast Asian textiles, with rich batiks and embroideries) but perhaps equally to Matisse in his vibrant palette. Toi’s color is often and aptly compared to Christian Lacroix’s, but Toi has brought his tinted exuberance to serviceable sportswear separates while Lacroix tends toward almost baroque forms of highly elaborated couture. For Lacroix, the pleasure is in the whole and design by ensemble; in Toi’s work, the delights are in the elements. Even within, his ingenious and extravagant details give punctuation with whimsy. Well-cut jackets, saucy skirts and shorts, spunky sarong skirts with ornament, wonderful vests and trousers provide a sensible dressing from constituents rich in color and texture. As much as Toi loves glamor, he also created a diffusion line, Z, launched in 1992, that luxuriates in denim and less expensive fabrication.

Toi did not set out to be a designer. Growing up as the youngest son of seven children of a grocer in a small town in Malaysia, he loved sketching and drawing but dreamed of being an architect or interior designer. His love of fashion came later and always in conjunction with cuisine and other pleasurable arts. He admits to wanting to combine fashion and running a restaurant. Like many designers, however, a lifetime interest in classic movie glamor and stars such as Audrey Hepburn encouraged his fashion interests. The Malay tradewinds have always brought rich interactions of British colonialism (apparent in Toi’s schoolboy stripes), Chinese, Indonesian, and other converging possibilities. Exoticism and pragmatic synthesis seem to come effortlessly to Toi.

In the West, we have traditionally enjoyed an adulation of the new, and Zang Toi is a new designer. But his merit and interest reside in the fact that his design is distinguished not by novelty but by his intense commitment to color. His fashion draws eclectically and with an absorbing anachronism on history and global fashion, always keeping his international eye for color. His practicality and sensitivity to the consumer are hallmarks of smart design for the 1990s and the 21st century beyond. Infinitely personable and charming, Toi, like many Western designers, is a social mixer and has a gregarious personality. Lauren Ezersky wrote, “I love Zang. Everybody loves Zang. He truly is one of the nicest designers on the scene today. And his designs are as fabulous as his gams, which he displays on a regular basis by wearing shorts.

In a fiercely competitive and fickle industry, Toi has flourished as a high society and movie star fashion designer. His commitment to luxury, beauty, and glamor continued to be evident in his designs, which made him the obvious choice to create a millennium gown for Melinda Gates (Mrs. Bill Gates). Whether the theme is the wild, wild West, inspired by a Montana trip (spring 2001), or “An Asian in Scotland” (fall 2001), his collections are executed in the finest fabrics and characterized by his signature use of color and attention to detail. His fall showing was one of the few to receive a standing ovation and praise from the New York fashion critics.

A favorite of Madonna, Sharon Stone, Ivana Trump, and Kirstie Alley, Toi is reaching out to their significant others by introducing a limited men’s line for fall 2001. “This is really for the husbands and boyfriends of my private customers. They are the ones who pay for the clothes.” Like his women’s clothes, the new line is handmade or hand-knit and uses luxury fibers like cashmere and silk.Zang Toi has held fast to his vision of fashion, despite an era of increasing informality and casual dress. “It is not a separate thing outside you, but something that flows out from inside you. That is why my clothes, my home, and my showroom all reflect a core that comes from the same source—a beauty that I see and feel and which takes its form in the look and feel of my creations and in the space where I live and work.” No longer the new kid on the block, Zang Toi continues to inspire and delight and remind us of what fashion and glamor are really all about. 

Zang Toi:

At the house of Toi, it all starts with color. Lavish hues of chartreuse, red, and hot pink…which, theoretically, should never be seen together. Here they have been combined masterfully with a flair and wit that has won the hearts of both critics and customers alike. Breaking the rules is what I do best. I try not to limit my thinking to the way things have been done before—my customers have come to expect the unexpected. Pioneering in dressing up good old all-American denim—in splashy red and hot pink stitching—and [adding] metalic gold stitching to sexy suits and little bustier dresses is the chicest way to dress.The Zang Toi formula is creating glamorous, tailored, classic sportswear with a dramatic twist; with a surprising mixed palette and signature design finishes. Evening at Zang Toi means haute fantasy with a dash of old Hollywood glamor.It is always a dream of mine to merge my fashion sense with fine food…. Food is like fashion; clothes are just a piece of cloth until you add the decoration and the look, then it becomes fashion. The same with food—once you start decorating it becomes appetizing. My personal philosophy is that beautiful food and clothes should always be a part of life

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Spring time in the garden

By MICHELE LIAN

Zang Toi’s Spring offerings alternated between flowing and fitted silhouettes that were unmistakeably Oriental, thanks to the intricate chinoiserie designs.

NOTHING embodies the spirit of Zang Toi better than a fashion show disguised as a lavish afternoon tea party.

The Kelantan-born, New York-based fashion designer appears to be the master of all things chic, and the preview of his Spring 2008 collection that he hosted last week was no exception.

In true Zang Toi fashion, his West 57th Street Café at Parkson Pavilion Kuala Lumpur was transformed into a charming spring party setting, bearing strong hints of his penchant for extravagant décor. This time around, journalists, customers, friends and family found themselves in the midst of colourful peonies, and feted with a live string quartet and plenty of bubbly while waiting for the show to begin.

Seated in the front row were Zang’s guests of honour: his mother, dressed in Zang’s signature look for this season – an English yellow qi bao embellished with hand-painted peonies – and his father sporting a matching shirt.

As music from the quartet faded, models came gliding out serenely, stepping in tune to lilting, traditional Chinese music.

On their faces were soft pastel pinks, greens, yellows and neutrals that gave them a subtle, translucent glow to the skin, and upper lids that were heavily lined. In contrast to the minimalist makeup, each had their hair piled up with ornate hairpieces and turned into gravity-defying buns, reminiscent of those worn by 19th century French courtesans, and dotted with ornamental butterflies.

Nevertheless, it was the clothes that transformed them into otherworldly, ethereal beings.

Themed Chinoiserie Garden, Zang’s Spring offerings alternated between flowing and fitted silhouettes that were unmistakeably Oriental, thanks to the intricate designs by de Gournay (a company that specialises in 18th century chinoiserie and 19th century French designs), with touches of European decadence.

First on the runway was a sinewy, English yellow strapless gown with hand painted peonies, followed by a kimono coat and matching trousers with similar motifs and colour.

This graduated to skirts, jackets, short, trousers, dresses and more gowns in pastel shades of ebony, ivory, cream, pink and red. These were accented by touches of mink cashmere, satin bows, ribbon darts, floral prints, pleats and silver beaded lovebird motifs.

The delicately crafted lovebirds on an understated, black shantung silk sheath was not only a stunning reminder of Zang’s immaculate craftsmanship, but also a mirror of the palette dominating the interior his new apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East side. Decorated as a tribute to French Queen Marie Antoinette, Zang’s living space is now a minimalist combination of high gloss white walls, glossy back enamel parquet floors, and neoclassical furniture upholstered in charcoal mink-trimmed cashmere.

Zang Toi with his dad, Toi Han Eng, and his mum, Foo Chin Chik, who celebrated her 80th birthday at his Spring 2008 fashion preview.
This new design credo of his was translated to simplicity on the runway for the most part, but it was obvious that Zang had saved the most elaborate pieces for last.

Out came a statuesque red silk organza and silk taffeta strapless ball gown with peonies and pleated petticoats; sensuous pink organza bustier slip coupled with a silk taffeta diva skirt with a back panel and fox mini shrug; a pink silk taffeta coat with mink border and pleated petticoats over a matching gown; and English yellow silk taffeta evening shirt with a grand ball skirt and pleated back.

But as the preview drew to a close and Zang took his bow, he gave his guests another reason to celebrate: it was also his mother’s 80th birthday. While flitting about the crowd to attend to his guests and beaming parents, it became clear that Zang was in his element – celebrating, and being inspired by, life.

from thestar.com.my, Sunday November 18, 2007